Children Authors

Why he’s great: Probably known best for his colorful illustrations, he’s a great writer with simple story lines, usually involving animals (which most kids love). Carle’s books appeal to babies and preschoolers alike — both my kids enjoy his stuff. His books usually have a unique set up, such as holes in the pages or smaller pages leading to bigger ones.Some of his best: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Very Quiet Cricket Grouchy Ladybug

Kevin Henkes

Why he’s great: He’s one of the better modern-day authors, with lovable characters who go through many of the same day-to-day situations as our children.Some of his best: Owen, and Wemberly Worried

Steven Kellogg

Why he’s great: His over-the-top plots and delightful illustrations are a joy to read out loud, and they interest a wide age range of kids (and adults).Some of his best: The Mysterious Tadpole Bill Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash

Ruth Krauss

Why she’s great: Her stories are simple but charming. They’re to the point, and the vocabulary is outstanding. Great word choice. Many of her books are illustrated by greats like Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are) and Crocket Johnson (Harold and the Purple Crayon).Some of his best: 

Arnold Lobel

Why he’s great: His illustrations are quality of the vintage sort, with sweet faces and detailed scenery. He doesn’t talk down to children, and his story lines are simple but engaging.Some of his best: Blueberries for Sal (quite possibly my all-time favorite early children’s book),Lentil Way for Ducklings Morning in Maine

Robert McCloskey

Why he’s great: He creates hilarious characters who interact in clever dialogue. His illustrations are beautiful, too.Some of his best: All the Frog and Toad books,Owl at Home Soup

Beatrix Potter

 Why she’s great: She remains the best-selling children’s author of all time. Beatrix Potter’s books are chock full of great vocabulary, and her narrative style is heart-warming and funny. Great characters, too. And beautiful illustrations.Some of her best: The Tale of Peter Rabbit Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck Tale of Benjamin Bunny

Margret and H.A. Rey

Why they’re great: As a married couple with a fascinating story of adventure in their own life, the Reys created one of the most well-loved characters in children’s literature. They’ve created other wonderful characters as well, and a simple voice and universally-appealing plots make most of their works a classic.Some of they’re best: All seven of the original Curious George books were written later with the same character, but they weren’t penned by the original authors — and they’re not as good), Katy No-Pocket’s Picture the Penguin Sees the World

E.B. White

Why he’s great: He writes wonderful characters, and he has great word choice. His verbosity is descriptive, and his style softens your heart towards the meanest of his characters.Some of his best: Charlotte’s Web Little,The Trumpet of the Swan

Margaret Wise Brown

Why she’s great: You’re not allowed to have a list of great children’s book authors and not include her. More for the very young crowd, Margaret Wise Brown’s words rhythmically lead the reader on a comforting journey without dumbing down from poor word choice. A classic.Some of her best: Goodnight Moon Runaway Bunny Little Postmen Red Barn

Julia with some of her characters
I grew up in a tall terraced Victorian London house with my parents, grandmother, aunt, uncle, younger sister Mary and cat Geoffrey (who was really a prince in disguise. Mary and I would argue about which of us would marry him).Mary and I were always creating imaginary characters and mimicking real ones, and I used to write shows and choreograph ballets for us. A wind-up gramophone wafted out Chopin waltzes.I studied Drama and French at Bristol University, where I met Malcolm, a guitar-playing medic to whom I’m now married

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